With dozens of chemotherapy agents and hundreds of combinations available for treatment, your oncologist will more than likely select a regimen from standard protocols developed in clinical trials. Regrettably, average treatments provide average outcomes, with the majority of patients failing to show improvement from these protocols. Cancer is an individual disease, as unique as the person fighting it.
When Cheryl Scott learned she had advanced lung cancer, her internist suggested she see at least four oncologists before making any treatment decisions. She heard advice like, “You know lung cancer cannot be cured and anyone who tells you that it can is lying.” As a final option, she saw a doctor in New York who wanted to remove the tumor and send a sample for a chemosensitivity test to see which combination of chemotherapy would best kill her cancer. “He gave me HOPE and I went for it!”
One way to determine the best treatment regimen is to submit a sample of your tumor for an ex-Vivo analysis. By having a chemosensitivity test, you gain peace-of-mind knowing that your cancer has been exposed to many possible treatments, resulting in a truly personalized regimen.
“Functional profiling” performed at Rational Therapeutics is unlike previous chemosensitivity tests, which could only provide information on drug resistance. These limitations have been overcome and now results are measured by what causes your cancer cells to die—a true chemosensitivity assay.
The results of Cheryl’s assay showed that the standard protocols recommended by other doctors would have been ineffective. Only the combination of erlotinib (Tarceva) plus bevacizumab (Avastin) appeared effective. After four cycles, Cheryl’s PET scan was completely normal. “You hit the ball out of the ballpark,” Dr. Nagourney told her. Cheryl credits Rational Therapeutics with giving her her life back..